ApiFix at Home: What is Recovery Like?

6 Minute Read, April 2024, Rowan Eshbach

Hey! 👋

Welcome to our first blog post! Thank you for taking an interest in ApiFix. We hope this resource is helpful to you and provides some confidence to those considering using our device. 

If you have any topics you would be interested in hearing from us about, let us know! You can reach us at info@apifix.com or visit our website and fill out our connect form at https://apifix.com/contact/ 

Let’s dive into learning some tips and expectations as you go through recovery after receiving AIS correction with the ApiFix device. 

Introduction

Have you ever had to wait for something? Unless you are a time traveler the answer is probably yes. Whether it’s on the phone, in line for a snack, or simply for a particular day to arrive, we wait for a lot of things. And it isn’t usually fun.

Thankfully, I can tell you when recovering from ApiFix surgery, you don’t need to wait to get moving again! 

In this article, we will go over what you can expect during ApiFix recovery using information from surgeon and patient input. 

What is ApiFix Anyways? 

ApiFix is a less-invasive, non-fusion option for correcting a form of scoliosis called Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS). AIS patients with certain curve qualifications are the ideal candidates. The device is a single rod anchored with three screws to the spine. This is then elongated to straighten the scoliosis curve. 

Fusion surgery, which is the most common procedure, has a greater limit to spinal motion and flexibility as well as longer recovery. But, correction with ApiFix has a comparatively short hospital stay and healing time, as well as more flexibility for patients to continue doing what they love!

So, what does this ApiFix recovery look like? We asked two of our ApiFix surgeon experts: Dr. Geofrey Haft and Dr. Ron El-Hawary for their input on what they recommend for their patients. ApiFix patient Danica Berry also shared her experience with us after receiving the device. Check out the video at the end of the post to watch her story!  

Post- Op and Heading Home

The actual ApiFix surgery only takes 1-2 hours. The hospital stay is only 1-2 days, and some patients in the US even go home the same day. 

At first, there is moderate to little pain. Doctors will give oral medication and/or medication to numb the area to help with this.

“It was a little painful in the beginning just because you’re, like, so stiff…I was just laying there I wasn’t really moving that much but I think it was either that day or the day after they got me up and walking” Danica says. 

This is true of most patients. Both Dr. Haft and Dr. El Hawary encourage patients to be walking around and out of bed the first day.

How Much to Keep Moving?

As we said above, movement is suggested the first day post-op. Walking and other movement is actually beneficial for comfort to keep the muscles from stiffening. Danica describes her first walk following surgery as her “little granny moment” using a walker to go around the hospital. She remarks how surprised she was to be moving around the first full day. Dr. Geoffrey Haft specifically prescribes patients to be walking 5-10 times per day.

Sleep, Diet, Hygiene

Sleeping is an essential way to let the body heal itself. Before surgery patients are asked to get lots of rest in preparation. Danica recounts in her interview that she was very tired and slept a long time immediately after ApiFix surgery. But following the first day for patients, both Dr. Haft and Dr, El-Hawary recommend a normal, healthy sleep cycle for teenagers of eight to ten hours a night. 

As far as diet goes, just be sure to eat a normal healthy diet with plenty of nutrients to strengthen your healing body. 

In general, part of feeling like yourself again after surgery includes keeping clean and fresh. The quick recovery and ability to move again with the ApiFix procedure makes that easy. Dr. Haft says his patients are treated with a unique wound dressing called Dermabond Prineo that allows showering right away. 

How Soon Can I Resume Normal Life?

Going to school, being active, spending time out with friends, doing what you love: getting back to normal life is when recovery feels really complete. 

For ApiFix patients, it varies on what “normal life” looks like for you. Typical cases have patients returning to school within 1-3 weeks after the procedure depending on the patient.

According to Dr. El-Hawary, more active passions like running, swimming, and biking can begin 6 weeks after surgery.  Both surgeons allow their patients to return to full sports again after 3 months of recovery. 

Something unique about being an ApiFix patient is greater mobility that you still have after receiving the device. Not only will the scoliosis pain be gone but the activities you love will still be possible! This is summed up well by Danica as she describes how she feels 3 months after the surgery:

“… With this surgery I have had so much mobility and I feel so much more free … It feels like I’ve just opened up”. 

Interested in ApiFix?

If you are an AIS patient and are interested in learning more about the ApiFix device, talk to your doctor today to see if ApiFix is right for you. You can also visit our “Patient and Family” page at https://apifix.com/patients-families/adolescent-idiopathic-scoliosis/

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